By Harold Glicken
Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) If you’ve been among the estimated 18 million Americans victimized by identity theft every year, one reason you’ve been targeted is because the passwords you use are ridiculously easy to hack. A new device called YubiKey is helping people improve their passwords and fight back against hacking.
Tribune News Service
When it comes to cybersecurity, a second line of defense can make the difference between being hacked and surfing safely. And all you need to surf worry-free is a unique password and an inexpensive device called the YubiKey.
I’ve begun using the YubiKey, a slimmed-down thumb drive, to complement my password program, Dashlane, which I use to manage all my usernames and unique passwords.
First, a word about passwords:
If you’ve been among the estimated 18 million Americans victimized by identity theft every year, one reason you’ve been targeted is because the passwords you use are ridiculously easy to hack. Anyone who uses “password1234” for all the websites he visits is asking for trouble. Without a second line of defense, you’re toast.
A typical first line of defense is Dashlane, a password program I’ve been using for several years. Dashlane will generate passwords containing a random mix of numbers, letters and characters that are nearly impossible to hack.
It also will keep track of the passwords you already use. If one’s as simple as “password1234,” the program will warn you about continuing to use it, since doing so could leave you vulnerable to experiencing the kind of grief that will keep you on the phone for hours, probably days, trying to straighten out your accounts.
For example, if you’re wondering why Amazon is sending you receipts for stuff you didn’t order or receive, and the charges are showing up on your credit card statement, you’ve been hacked. Change your password, and do it quickly. In fact, let Dashlane do it for you. And let it generate new passwords every week for all the websites you use.